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Chinese premier meets int'l guests to Beijing Olympics
13:16, August 08, 2008

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Friday morning met with some of the international honored guests who were in Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games slated for Friday evening.

In a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Wen expressed his welcome to Rudd and wished Australian athletes would perform well at the Games.

He thanked Rudd for his letter of condolence after the May 12 earthquake that hit Sichuan Province, adding that the Australian government and people also expressed sympathy and provided aid and assistance to the Chinese government and people.

"We are deeply grateful for this," Wen said.

Rudd said he sincerely wished the Beijing Olympic Games would be a success and Chinese athletes would succeed in the Games.

He said the Sichuan earthquake was a disaster to the whole world, and the Australian people, including those of Chinese origin, were very sad about it and were happy to provide support to China.

Responding to Rudd's concern over development of the quake relief work, Wen said the work had almost come to an end and the Chinese government had drafted a reconstruction plan which was publicized for opinions. An English version of the plan would be available once it was finalized.

On bilateral ties, Wen said China-Australia relations had kept a development momentum. "China is ready to deepen energy and resources cooperation with Australia and continue to promote bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, while properly handling the concerns of the two sides," he said.

"China and Australia can become close partners of cooperation in numerous areas as long as they follow the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits and strengthen dialogues and negotiations," Wen said.

Rudd said Australia hoped to become a lasting cooperation partner of China and was ready to make joint efforts with China to promote the FTA talks towards substantial progress.

During the meeting with Prime Minister of Djibouti Dileita Mohamed Dileita, Wen expressed China's gratitude to the leaders, government and people of Djibouti for their sympathy and condolence over the earthquake.

"You are here with the friendship of the people of Djibouti," Wen said.

Dileita said he was excited to be able to attend the Beijing Olympic Games.

Wen said China appreciated Djibouti's adherence to the one-China policy and its support to China's major concerns.

"China would continue to offer help within its capacity for Djibouti's economic development and improvement of the people's livelihood."

"We would take the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations as an opportunity to promote two-way cooperation and exchanges for new progress," Wen said.

Dileita said his country was grateful for China's precious assistance, and would firmly stand together with the Chinese people.

While meeting with Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, Wen said China appreciated the longtime support of the Thai government, royal family and people for the Beijing Olympic Games.

Samak said he was very happy to be able to attend the grand event and described today as a day that people of the world, including the Chinese, had been longing for.

Wen pledged that China would strengthen strategic cooperation with Thailand and deepen the friendly ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),which Thailand is a member, to jointly face challenges for common development.

Samak said Thailand was ready to continue pushing forward the traditional friendship and cooperation with China and would work with China for new progress in ASEAN-China relations.


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